The weather in Rwanda has continued to cause problems for the expedition this week. As you can see in the photo, rain has caused the river to swell and flood, covering the fields alongside it, as well as the tracks and paths that Lev and Boston have been walking along.This has meant that the walkers have had to change their route, making use of the roads that run along the river valley. These require a great deal more ascent and descent and the twists and turns can add even more distance than the meandering river itself. It was an unwelcome prospect at the end of a week that has seen both men suffer minor aches as their bodies adjust to their demanding routine. Despite the additional exertion, Lev sent the following short message late on Thursday night.
Brief update. Arrived in Kigali after an epic 55km march...in flip flops. That's over 30 miles. Updates to follow tomorrow. In dire need of food and beer first!
Kigali is Rwanda's capital, a city of just over a million people that lies in the centre of this comparatively small country. The Rwandan government describes the city as one of the safest and cleanest on earth, a marked contrast to some of the other stops the expedition will make. Lev has enjoyed the many opportunities the city offers:
Lev says: Two great, interesting, relaxing and moving days without walking in Kigali. A small, hilly, tropical city that doesn't seem to sleep. So far we have eaten Chinese, Italian and Indian meals as well as a Rwandan buffet.'
But while contemporary Kigali is clean and safe, there is no escaping or ignoring the recent history of both the city and the country it governs.
Lev says: "On a more somber note we had the opportunity to visit the genocide memorial museum which is a moving testimonial to the million Tutsi that were killed in 1994. There is a mass grave containing the remains of 260,000 dead. It's a poignant reminder of Rwandas turbulent recent past. It's often easy to forget out here amid the lush and beautiful scenery and incredibly friendly people that this place has a dark past."
But Lev's time in the city is limited. Although his arrival here was ahead of schedule, the first ten days have shown that the river has the capacity for unexpected challenges. Fed and rested, Lev's thoughts now are on the road, and dangers, ahead.Lev says: "Lots of admin to do - laundry, emails etc and even managed a museum tour today. Visited the natural history museum where a 16ft man-eating crocodile has been stuffed. It sits next to a pair of shoes that were found in his belly. That's enough rest for now though.
Tomorrow we head south east where lies flatter ground and our first experience of real swamp life.
Let's hope the crocodiles aren't out in force."